JRPG Catch-All

Tanglebones wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
Trailer for the 3DS remake of Dragon Quest VII:

I'd like to play that now, please. Thanks.

You mean 3DS port?

No, that's actually a full-bore remake. They're overhauling the entire graphics engine and soundtrack. We'll probably get a new script translation too, and possibly (judging from the DQ 4-6 remakes) new content added to the game.

You don't really get more qualified for "remake" than that.

Tanglebones is just dragging an IRC argument out into the light of day. The crux of it is whether or not Persona 4: Golden is different enough from its PS2 incarnation to qualify as a port or a remake. I say port, Tangle says remake, and he's giving me grief about DQ VII over it.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Tanglebones is just dragging an IRC argument out into the light of day. The crux of it is whether or not Persona 4: Golden is different enough from its PS2 incarnation to qualify as a port or a remake. I say port, Tangle says remake, and he's giving me grief about DQ VII over it. :P

P4 Golden is a port with additional content. DQVII is a remake that might or might not include additional content.

Remakes involve rebuilding the engine as well as the art (and often music) assets, and so on.

For example, Final Fantasy IV on the Playstation and GBA were ports, though they featured tweaks and changes. Final Fantasy IV on the DS was a remake because even though it was still the same content (barring the voiced story scenes), the engine, art assetc, music, etc were rebuilt and updated.

Dragon Quest VII on the 3DS is a remake in the same vein as FF4 on the DS. P4:Golden is a port that doubles as an "enhanced" edition of sorts with extra content (basically like how P3:FES was to P3; FES was not a remake, but rather a bonus edition that also happened to include an expansion).

Farscry, you are a wise and learned scholar.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Farscry, you are a wise and learned scholar.

Pip, pip and cheerio!

Doesn't P4G have new voice acting? Not new as in additional, but new as in redone?

SixteenBlue wrote:
Doesn't P4G have new voice acting? Not new as in additional, but new as in redone?

Yup. Teddie and Chie have new voice actors.

I tend to think of it like movies: if the movie has been completely refilmed, it's a remake; if they've just gone back in and added a bunch of scenes (like a director's cut or special edition) then it's not. The expanded version could be the definitive version, but it's not a remake.

Expanded ports are the video gaming equivalent of extended cuts of movies. Not remakes, even if they're inherently superior to the original release.

Tanglebones wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Doesn't P4G have new voice acting? Not new as in additional, but new as in redone?

Yup. Teddie and Chie have new voice actors.

They replaced their voice actors rather than have new lines voiced by new people and old lines voiced by the original people, correct. However, this was not a full remake of the voice acting in the game.

P4G does tread the line between port and remake more than most cases, but is still solidly in "enhanced port" territory rather than full remake.

[edit]And this is by no means a knock against P4G; it's one of my favorite ports ever.

So, to elaborate more on port vs remake using a couple other games as examples (sorry, I'm not happy with just having the two examples we have to debate this! :)), I'm going to reference another case of a full remake versus an enhanced port:

Resident Evil on the Gamecube was a full remake of RE:1. The engine was rebuilt, entirely new art and sound assets generated (I don't recall if the voice was redone or not, but given the scope of the remake otherwise this isn't crucial), control scheme modified, and so on.

Ocarina of Time on the 3DS was an enhanced port of the original OoT. The engine was updated to support stereoscopic effect, and higher resolution textures replaced the originals, but the actual model assets of the game were mostly retained and reused, with very few substantial changes overall (the most substantial being to replace the static image backgrounds for the town with a fully modeled town instead).

I could be wrong, and OoT on the 3DS might have required even more reworking of the engine than I realize, but everything I've read puts it into the "enhanced port" category rather than "remake."

Farscry wrote:
P4 Golden is a port with additional content. DQVII is a remake that might or might not include additional content.

Remakes involve rebuilding the engine as well as the art (and often music) assets, and so on.

For example, Final Fantasy IV on the Playstation and GBA were ports, though they featured tweaks and changes. Final Fantasy IV on the DS was a remake because even though it was still the same content (barring the voiced story scenes), the engine, art assetc, music, etc were rebuilt and updated.

Dragon Quest VII on the 3DS is a remake in the same vein as FF4 on the DS. P4:Golden is a port that doubles as an "enhanced" edition of sorts with extra content (basically like how P3:FES was to P3; FES was not a remake, but rather a bonus edition that also happened to include an expansion).

I usually have "enhanced port" in the mix as opposed to "port" or "remake". The "enhanced" designation is reserved for ports which have additional gameplay content added.

Final Fantasy IV is actually a good example.

Final Fantasy IV (SNES) - Original
Final Fantasy IV (PSX) - Port (new platform, same graphics, minor FMVs added)
Final Fantasy IV Advance (GBA) - Enhanced Port (new platform, same graphics, new gameplay content)
Final Fantasy IV (DS) - Remake (new platform, new engine, overhauled graphics, new/updated content)
Final Fantasy IV (PSP) - Enhanced Port (new platform, HD graphics, same content as GBA version)

EDIT: Oh, you already mentioned Enhanced Port except I hadn't read that far down. My bad.

Finally! Unchained Blades will be available for the 3DS on January 3rd. It'll be an eShop-only release for $29.99.

I like DQ7.

Finished up my (first?) playthrough of The Last Story tonight. I'm still tooling around the end-game.

If you have ever liked JRPGs, or are curious about them, and have access to a Wii, this is a must-play game. Don't leave it on the pile, don't wait for an unlikely sales drop. If you have the means, it deserves your attention before getting lost in the shuffle of the holiday release season.

I very rarely give out such universal recommendations. It is a remarkably unique experience, rare these days both in the industry as a whole and the genre in particular. It presents a breadth of gameplay rarely seen in modern design. It surprised me at least once per 30 minutes, through its entire 30 hour span.

What the world lacks in scope it makes up for in depth and masterful craft. Throughout the game I could sense the flourish and swagger of the development team daring me, challenging my expectations, acknowledging our shared history. If you've played a Final Fantasy game, there are some subtle but unmistakable thematic nods to all of Sakaguchi's entries in the series. A certain scenario fondly evokes Resident Evil. The city is vibrant and dynamic, like something the Zelda team would produce if asked to approximate a Final Fantasy game.

The characters are not the deepest at first glance, but they blossom throughout the game, and you get to know them as you would a new group of friends. They are as apt to surprise you as the wily tinkerer behind the game. Mechanically they are static, but it never bothered me as I had expected. Aesthetically, the game allows for more character customization than I've seen in the genre. The game has a great sense of zany humor at times, too.

There are some nits to be picked, some jankiness due to either the game's ambition or the hardware's age. While the music is pleasing and appropriate, it often gets lost behind voice acting and sound effects, a trend in gaming since the end of the PS1 era that I am not entirely happy about. However, the flaws are insignificant in light of its achievements. I haven't felt this good about the genre I loved first in a long, long time.

10 out of 10, from me. Strong GOTY contender.

TL;DR? Check out this video review. It's about as close an opinion to mine as I've seen.

Written version here.

A mostly straight up port of DQ7 would not have been that great so they are going in the right direction for sure.

Blind_Evil wrote:
Crossposting from the 3DS thread.

Friendly reminder: Crimson Shroud is out on the eShop tomorrow, created by Yasumi Matsuno. His other works include Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII, Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together, Ogre Battle 64, and MadWorld.

Here's a review by Jeremy Parish. If I hadn't already known I was buying the game, it would have piqued my interest. It's apparently a game you'll either love or hate.

I'm hearing it'll be $8.

You forgot to mention Final Fantasy Tactics.

Anyway, this game here makes me truly interested in a 3DS for the first time. The man is a genius.

27 hours into Birth By Sleep. I had no idea how long this game was going to be. Yerks. Jeanne D'Arc is staring at me, her smile beginning to lose it's patience.

KidDork wrote:
27 hours into Birth By Sleep. I had no idea how long this game was going to be. Yerks. Jeanne D'Arc is staring at me, her smile beginning to lose it's patience.

I enjoyed Birth by Sleep but dang, by the third character, the repetition really started getting old and I just wanted to finish the "story". Jeanne D'Arc has been patiently staring at me for some time. I'll have to pick that up soon.

walterqchocobo wrote:
I enjoyed Birth by Sleep but dang, by the third character, the repetition really started getting old and I just wanted to finish the "story".

They addressed that issue nicely with KH 3D, by giving both characters completely different paths through many of the worlds. There's essentially two criss-crossing storylines going on, which prevents the game from feeling like you're playing through the same content twice.

A lot of the issue with BBS' structure was that Ven's story is nearly pointless, and if you play Terra first you pretty much know 90% of what the other two characters are going to see. Personally, I recommend going Ven first since he plays closest to Sora, and it keeps a slight air of mystery about what's happening. Then you do Terra, then Aqua.

I just had to stop by and post how much I love you all.

I got to about Chapter 25 ish on The Last Story this weekend. I am having SOOO much fun with this game, I can not believe it is on the Wii.

I feel like the story is a few games combines, but still overall entertaining, I love love LOVE the combat system.

Thank you!

With Birth by Sleep, I broke up each playthrough by playing other things in the meantime. So Terra -> something else -> Ven -> some iPhone games -> Aqua. Even for a KH fangirl like me, the game was kind of repetitive, so that takes the edge off.

Aqua's playthrough is the best one IMO, so that helps to push through it.

Demyx wrote:
With Birth by Sleep, I broke up each playthrough by playing other things in the meantime. So Terra -> something else -> Ven -> some iPhone games -> Aqua. Even for a KH fangirl like me, the game was kind of repetitive, so that takes the edge off.

Aqua's playthrough is the best one IMO, so that helps to push through it.

I powered through but Terra > Ven > Aqua was my order as well.

So my awesome co-worker heard that I love JRPGs and Strategy RPGs, but that I've never owned/played a PSP and loaned me his spare with two memory cards of various japanese games. What do I end up playing? Final Fantasy Tactics. Again. For, like, the seventh time. Just started Chapter 2! Maybe if I plow through, I can beat this and then play Jeanne D'arc.

garion333 wrote:
Blind_Evil wrote:
Crossposting from the 3DS thread.

Friendly reminder: Crimson Shroud is out on the eShop tomorrow, created by Yasumi Matsuno. His other works include Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII, Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together, Ogre Battle 64, and MadWorld.

Here's a review by Jeremy Parish. If I hadn't already known I was buying the game, it would have piqued my interest. It's apparently a game you'll either love or hate.

I'm hearing it'll be $8.

You forgot to mention Final Fantasy Tactics.

Anyway, this game here makes me truly interested in a 3DS for the first time. The man is a genius.

I've put maybe three hours into Crimson Shroud, so I thought I'd post some early impressions.

It's basically a visual novel with a complex RPG combat system on top. It almost lives up to that running gag about RPGs these days being glorified choose your own adventure novels. You pick where you go, read a little scene, maybe fight a battle, and sometimes make very basic choices about how you respond to a situation, whether or not you attempt to open a chest, etc. But it all works in the context of the game's tabletop gaming aesthetic where your characters are blatantly depicted as static miniatures in little dioramas. Even the narrator seems to be given some character as a dungeon master, with fourth-wall-breaking comments like, "I'm going to give you some bonus dice to get started. Don't say I never did you any favors."

When it comes to the characters and dialogue, I have mixed feelings about the writing itself. It's either mediocre writing that falls into some of the bland tropes of your typical epic fantasy; or the writing is actually really clever as it depicts a dungeon master whose narration falls into the bland tropes of epic fantasy. Some of the more winking comments from the narrator, like the one I mentioned before, make me think there's at least a little self-awareness at work.

The world revealed through the storytelling is richly detailed. Enough casual information is given about the world's history, characters, and aesthetics—even down to details about architecture and fashion—to suggest a deeper lore than you're likely to see in the course of the game. I've definitely been left with the sense that this game isn't limited to just itself but could easily stretch out into any number of smaller modules or a full-blown release.

Which brings me to the game's RPG and combat mechanics, which are so fully realized and complex that they feel like they've been transplanted from some great 100 hour behemoth RPG or else were loyally recreated from an established pen and paper system. There are a lot of systems at play, and they all link up in really interesting ways. There are systems for chaining together combos for bonuses, melding and customizing equipment, buffing and debuffing your characters and your opponents, and more. I'm impressed by how detailed the mechanics are without seeming overstuffed at the scale of an eShop game.

I've heard some complaints about the game's length, but so far I've put about three hours into the game and have only just started the second chapter of (I believe) five. If the other chapters are as long as the first, I'll be satisfied, although at this point I would totally be willing to buy expansions or additional stand-alone modules built off the same rule set.

I love the idea of an intricate and complex game system in a short and simple game.

I'm only about an hour in so far, but I too am really digging Crimson Shroud. Fantastic stuff, and shows that Matsuno is still a guy to be following.

Farscry wrote:
I'm only about an hour in so far, but I too am really digging Crimson Shroud. Fantastic stuff, and shows that Matsuno is still a guy to be following. :D

I have no affinity / history with tabletop games. Should I even consider this? I love his other games to death, but this is such an odd duck.

Mixolyde wrote:
So my awesome co-worker heard that I love JRPGs and Strategy RPGs, but that I've never owned/played a PSP and loaned me his spare with two memory cards of various japanese games. What do I end up playing? Final Fantasy Tactics. Again. For, like, the seventh time. Just started Chapter 2! Maybe if I plow through, I can beat this and then play Jeanne D'arc.

Yeah, check out Jeanne D'Arc eventually as well as Tactics Ogre.

DSGamer wrote:
Farscry wrote:
I'm only about an hour in so far, but I too am really digging Crimson Shroud. Fantastic stuff, and shows that Matsuno is still a guy to be following. :D

I have no affinity / history with tabletop games. Should I even consider this? I love his other games to death, but this is such an odd duck.

I really don't know, actually. I'd expect that it will certainly be off-putting to you initially, and I don't know whether that will turn into enjoyment or dislike.

Tactics Ogre, GWJ's Portable GOTY :).